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Research: Do Test-Optional Policies in Engineering Admissions Improve Decision Making and Equity? Empirical Research using Experimental Simulations


Sep 01, 2023


Aug 31, 2025
Funding Agency
National Science Foundation

This project will examine the impact of test-optional admissions on the entry of highly-qualified and underrepresented students in engineering.


In prior NSF-funded research, the team demonstrated that experimental simulations of admissions practices can have a substantial impact on improving equity in admissions decision making. This experimental study investigates whether students who do not submit test scores under test-optional admissions policies are disadvantaged by doing so, particularly for low-income students, women, and students of color underrepresented in engineering. Given the pervasiveness of test-optional admissions policies in the post-COVID era, and many claims made for the potential of test-optional admissions to increase student diversity, this study addresses particularly relevant policy and practice questions in the current environment.

Primary Investigator(s)

Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies; Professor, Marsal Family School of Education

More Awards

Award Start Date
Sep 15, 2018
Award End Date
Aug 31, 2024
Award Start Date
Aug 01, 2018
Award End Date
Jul 31, 2024